As the caption states, the photograph below shows the Royal Hibernian Military School in Dublin, Ireland, with its pupils lined up in front of it.
Yet during the eighteenth century, the only schooling that the sons and daughters of non-commissioned officers would have received was in cursing and fending for themselves and, if they were girls, making themselves useful by washing and sewing for their father's soldier comrades.How would John have learned his trade if he and his mother and siblings (? Or would he have needed to have remained "at home" while his father was relocated to various theatres of duty?Any help you can give me would be appreciated.', 2011.Active to the end, he contributed and collaborated on many articles on military history and education to specialist historical reviews. A pioneering researcher, often with Peter Goble, into the history of army education, the Royal Hibernian Military School and, above all, the Duke of York’s Royal Military School – and more – Art was an enthusiastic and generous supporter of TACA ever since its establishment in 2007.Art is survived by Charlotte, his wife of more than fifty years, and his children, John, Kate and Emma, as well as seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Indeed, you will find evidence of Art’s erudition, and of his willingness to share his expertise, throughout the TACA website (see, for example, ‘PERSONAL STORY: KILLED IN ACTION’, ‘PICTURE: A REGIMENTAL SCHOOL IN INDIA’, ‘BACKGROUND INFORMATION: A SINGULAR AND MOST UNUSUAL SUB-POST OFFICE’, ‘TACA CORRESPONDENCE: BOY SOLDIERS AND EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY REGIMENTAL MUSTER ROLLS’, ‘TACA CORRESPONDENCE: MEMORIAL AT ALL SAINTS' CHURCH, HUTTON, BRENTWOOD, ESSEX’, ).In existence between 17, the Royal Hibernian School educated the orphaned sons of soldiers or those whose soldier–fathers’ absence overseas had left their families destitute.
You can read more about the history of the school on the late Art Cockerill’s website: ancestor John Campbell enlisted in the 42nd Regiment in Glasgow in 1825, age 18 years, and his occupation was carpenter (WO 97).
The regimental schools were replaced by garrison schools in 1887, and administrative changes have continued to be made in response to changing times, with the British Families Education Service (BFES) being set up to educate army children in Germany in the aftermath of World War II, for instance.
Today, the schooling of army children abroad is provided by Service Children's Education (SCE), and when in Britain, army children attend local schools, that is, unless they are at boarding school.
It has now been decades since all army children have been able to enjoy the (dubious) privilege of a boarding-school education, thanks to a continuity of education allowance (CEA), or boarding-school allowance (BSA), and subsidised flights to join their parents during the holidays.
Indeed, the agonising decision as to whether to sacrifice family togetherness in favour of the undoubted benefits of stability and continuity of curricula during crucial pre-GCSE and A' level years is one that all peripatetic army families must continue to take.
As well as providing a window into his work, Art’s website, is a rich and important historical resource that will remain accessible to all for the foreseeable future.